30 January 2008

"Shirtless Teddy Tahu Rhodes Doing Push Ups"

pen palOh, what more delightful headline can be imagined? Well, perhaps "Florida free-fall sends Giuliani from hero to zero" -- that's great news too. But back to important matters. Did La Cieca mention that for his current stint in Dead Man Walking The Teddster has shaved his head?

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09 January 2008

Gran nuova! Gran nuova!

Juan Diego Flórez will make his role debut as the Duke of Mantua in a new production of Rigoletto on March 31.

The event will mark the inauguration of "The International Opera Festival Alejandro Granda" in Peru. Puppylicious Flórez is pictured here with Latin Grammy winner Gian Marco, with whom he shared the stage for a benefit concert for UNICEF last year. (Admittedly, that concert has nothing to do with the current news, but La Cieca wanted an excuse to run this photo.)

In breaking news also relating to puppyliciousness, the renaissance of Rolando Villazón's career will extend into a new medium when the tenor begins principal photography for the role of Rodolfo in a film version of La bohème opposite the Mimi of (who else?) Anna Netrebko. According to La Cieca's source, the pair pre-recorded their music for the movie last year and will begin their on-set lip-synching duties within the month.

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15 October 2007

"Waves of technological euphoria"

Prolific pundit Alex Ross is at it again. The cropped-headed critic's latest New Yorker piece is all about The Well-Tempered Web. (And pity poor La Cieca, who in the wake of all the Alex-related news of late, has had to force herself not ever to use the headline "Call Her Miss Ross.")

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12 October 2007

Mama, I'm not going to warn you again

As if Tomotaka Okamoto weren't enough, here's another countertenor looming on the horizon: Max Emanuel Cencic. Now, don't get La Cieca wrong. She loves her some countertenors, and she frankly adores how Herr Cenic rocks the tête de peau. She warmly congratulates him on his burgeoning discography and of course wishes him well in his impending Lincoln Center appearance (opposite Philippe Jaroussky!) with Les Arts Florissants.

But, seriously, dude, Moby called and he wants his album cover back.

And while we're on the subject, maybe you should revise your official online bio. Probably, it's just La Cieca, but that last sentence gives her the creeps:
Max Emanuel Cencic started his vocal training in early childhood, appearing publicly for the first time at the age of six. He sang the aria "Queen of the Night" in a television show. Subsequently, Max Emanuel Cencic appeared at several concerts and had guest roles at the Zagreb Opera. From 1987 to 1992, Max Emanuel Cencic was a member of the Vienna Boys' Choir. In 1992, he started pursuing a solo career. By employing a special technique, he was able to continue singing soprano.
Yeah, ow. You know, it's just like, ow.

UPDATE: Since La Cieca first informed her cher public about Mr. Cencic's "special technique," she has received an email from, ironically enough, the lovely and talented Herman Melville. Dear Herman encloses scans of album covers depicting the artist "before" and "after."

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14 June 2007


A glimpse of beloved soprano Gabriella Benackova in an unusual role: Emilia Marty in Vec Makropulos. Tete-de-peau tenor Roman Sadnik is Gregor.

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26 September 2006

Return from the Plaza

La Cieca is back in her beloved Sunnyside late this evening, even though the Metropolitan Opera opening night began at 6:30. By her watch, the performance of Madama Butterfly ran not quite four hours including intermissions and curtain call. Oddly, though, the evening didn't seem unnaturally long -- maybe because La Cieca enjoyed a disco nap prior to the performance, or maybe because her seat for this opening night was in the plaza, watching on the big screen video, or, as we have come to call it, the Plazatron.

First things first: quite unlike most free events in New York, and on the Upper West Side in particular, the crowd was mostly very well mannered, attentive and appreciative. The weather, La Cieca must say, was simply superb, with just the hint of a cool autumnal breeze. The much-ballyhooed Red Carpet was somewhat underwhelming, hidden as it was over near Damrosch Park. La Cieca did catch a glimpse of Jude Law in the flesh, looking very dapper in black tie, and on the Plazatron, she noticed our own Dawn Fatale looking very boyish indeed against a backdrop of social xrays.

About the performance proper La Cieca can't really say anything because our own JJ will review a later performance, but she will note that the Plaza crowd was treated to an intermission feature showing director Anthony Minghella and the cast in rehearsal. Minghella talks too much, La Cieca thinks, and in the video one could sense that Marcello Giordani and Dwayne Croft were getting a bit impatient with all the chitchat. Speaking of which, Giordani looks great these days, slim and dashing in his Navy whites, and Croft has evolved into a very sexy daddy type -- particularly since this production makes no effort to disguise his mostly-bald pate. You know how La Cieca goes for the tete de peau look!

As La Cieca was preparing her podcast this evening she was listening to the second Met Radio broadcast on Sirius, a 1971 Rigoletto, and she sees the ante has been upped: she'll have to redouble her efforts to bring you the best in Unnatural Acts of Opera.

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